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Metal Mix-up 

Judas Priest's Tim "Ripper" Owens may have gotten a reprieve.

Norma Jean lost control January 27 at Peabody's. - WALTER  NOVAK
  • Walter Novak
  • Norma Jean lost control January 27 at Peabody's.

Looks like Akron's Tim "Ripper" Owens may not be out of Judas Priest just yet. After Priest drummer Scott Travis recently told a writer from Brave Words and Bloody Knuckles magazine that Owens's tenure in the band was all but over, Judas Priest's management has scrambled to refute Travis's statements. Says management coordinator Jayne Andrews on a post on "Scott says he, first of all, did not know the guy had a tape recorder, and secondly, was only saying something that he would have liked to happen at some stage. This is not anything official . . . There is no truth to this." For his part, Owens has stated that he's still a part of the band and that's he already written three songs for Priest's next record, due sometime next year. We hope the Ripper's right; after all, he has done an admirable job of replacing Rob Halford. That's a pretty big codpiece to fill, and given that he hasn't been involved in the songwriting until now, it's not Owens's fault that the band's last two records have sucked like a Martin Lawrence flick.

The Grog Shop has officially assumed ownership of its new location on Euclid Heights: Boulevard and Coventry, at what was formerly the Arabica. Says Grog owner Kathy Simkoff: "We just started knocking down walls today . . . very exciting! I am hoping to be open in May." We hope so too.

Prepare to "Smash Your Skulls With Power" -- Cleveland thrashards Destructor will be back in action this summer. The band has been added to the lineup of Germany's prestigious Bang Your Head Fest, where Destructor will join the likes of Twisted Sister, Dio, and Sodom in one of Europe's biggest metal events. The band, which now includes Boulder madman Jamie Walters on bass, will precede its June trip by cutting a new EP, "Sonic Bullet," which is scheduled to drop in May. After that, Destructor will release the follow-up to its classic 1985 debut, Maximum Destruction. As if all that weren't enough, Destructor also plans to reissue that first effort on Auburn Records, along with a batch of previously unreleased bonus cuts.

Chimaira has enlisted producer Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Napalm Death, Machine Head) to mix its latest, The Impossibility of Reason. The band recorded 14 tracks for the album, 12 of which will make the cut, while the other songs will be used as B-sides or bonus cuts. The band will film a video for the album's first single, "Down Again," next month. Look for it in April.

Gatlin's hard-edged modern rockers have hired veteran producer and seven-time SXSW speaker Lawrence Gelburd to record their upcoming three-song demo. The band will lay down new songs "Around Me," "Broken Secret," and "Serenity" with Gelburd over the next two weeks, then shop the material to the 15 different labels reported to have expressed interest.

The brutal Allergic to Whores has landed eight dates on this summer's Warped Tour. The band will be bringing its tooth-grinding hardcore to the tour for a trio of dates in June and the rest in August. Simple Plan fans, start running now.

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